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Tuesday’s Headlines: All Politics is Hochul Edition

You can't escape Gov. Hochul in the news these days. But she can't escape her terrible congestion pricing decision. Plus other news.

Original Photo: Don Pollard / Governor's Office |

She’s haunted.

From the great minds think alike department: Both Streetsblog and Politico went heavy on Gov. Hochul's growing isolation from her decision to abandon congestion pricing.

"Hochul’s sudden retreat from congestion pricing ... bitterly disappointed supporters and shattered a coalition that had drawn from disparate business, labor and environmental mass transit organizations," Politico reported, quoting New York Building Congress President Carlo Scissura: “She owes all of us answers. The people who have supported her from day one should never be blindsided and deserve up-front clarity.”

Our story focused more on the tiny number of entitled people who will benefit, as expressed by Danny Pearlstein of Riders Alliance:

“The obvious missing pieces [of the pro-congestion pricing alliance] are highly self-interested, like public employee unions that represent people with parking placards,” he said.

More and more coverage is focusing on the betrayal. Even Jed Walentas, the principal at the Brooklyn development firm Two Trees, called Hochul's decision "horrifying" in this clip from the Real Deal:

And Inc. (which we read at the dentist's office) had a hot take from Columbia Business School climate economist Gernot Wagner, who disputed the governor's assessment that congestion pricing would hurt small businesses.

"Retail business clearly isn't hurt by fewer cars, more pedestrians," he told Inc, citing a London survey that showed 91 percent of businesses said congestion pricing either helped their bottom line or left it unchanged. "Pedestrians, cyclists, basically people who spend more time in the city, closer to business tend to spend more money."

Even cartoonist Tom Tomorrow piled on in his Daily Kos panel.

Of course, Congestion Kathy can look at the bright side: A paper in New Jersey thinks she did the right thing — an editorial that speaks volumes.

In other news (yes, there is other news):

  • First off, the MTA unveiled more bus lane cameras that now can write tickets against double-parkers (amNY). We especially love the animated explainer. Zap those scofflaws!:
  • The rent remains too damn high — and you can blame Mayor Adams. (NYDN, NY Post, The City)
  • The congestion pricing cameras may not be collecting tolls, but they are collecting data about traffic. (NYDN)
  • Where do Bronx pols stand on congestion pricing? The Bronx Times knows. And Gothamist pointed out that the Bronx will suffer from Hochul's decision.
  • The Adams administration is cracking down vendors, which is sad because they are often newcomers just trying to make a living. (The City)
  • And finally, we always said if you build a super-sidewalk, people will come. Well, the city did it — and W42St and Streetfilms covered the fun on Ninth Avenue:

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